MOUNT VERNON — For the third time in two weeks a section of water line in front of 203 Mansfield Ave. has broken. A break in the line was repaired by Mount Vernon city workers two weeks ago. The line developed another break over the weekend, spewing water and gravel on the house and collapsing the basement, causing extensive damage to the structure.
Late Tuesay morning there was a third break, and crews rushed to shut down the line.
“I wish I knew what happened,” said Mount Vernon Safety-Service Director Dave Glass. “I’m scratching my head, too. I’ve been at this for 31 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. This is the third break within 5 feet of each other.”
Glass said the normal procedure for a break like the first two is to dig up the line and put a special stainless steel ring around the break. The ring has rubber insulation on the inner surface of the ring, and it clamps shut around the break.
“We’re kind of assuming it’s a bad piece of pipe,” Glass said. “They are putting a band on it now (Tuesday afternoon) and they will put the water back on. Then we will go back in tomorrow (Wednesday) and replace a couple of pieces of pipe.”
Glass said the sections of pipe on either side of the replaced section will be inspected to see if they look similar to the old replaced section, and to see if there is any deterioration of the inside of those pipes.
In response to a question as to whether the city would consider the breaks an act of God, Glass said it would not, and that the city will not walk away from its responsibility for damage done to the house by the break.